According to Property Week’s 2020 Power of Proptech survey, just 5.1% of the UK workforce worked primarily from home in 2019, despite improving technology making it a viable possibility. Fast forward twelve months and working from home has become the norm. Although a recent survey found that three in five British employees are itching to get back to the office , many participants say they would like to work from home more often once the pandemic is over. Also, 82% of real-estate companies and office providers are looking to invest in home working and digital meeting tools in the near future, also according to Property Week’s 2020 Power of Proptech survey.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK?
It’s reported that companies like Microsoft and Google will be adapting a ‘hybrid’ working model of three days in the office, and two days from home. Other companies, such as Twitter, are telling employees that they can work from home permanently, if they wish. What we’ll see once lockdowns lift, is a blended pattern of working. Employees will cycle between in office and at home working.
“Companies of all kinds are seizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the office model and lean into workforce preferences,” says Marie Puybaraud, director of global research at JLL.
The shift towards flexible working, experts say, hasn’t appeared only because of the pandemic. Companies for years have considered adapting policies to suit their modern workforce and better support the work life balance. What has held a lot of companies back in the past, was the flexibility vs productivity debate. A debate which has been largely been put to bed over the last 12 months.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF THE OFFICE?
A recent JLL survey of 2,000 office workers in 10 countries shows that while work will change, the office is to remain the bedrock of working life. 74% of respondents want the ability to come into an office, albeit not every day. Interestingly, almost half of surveyed employees expect offices to have social areas in the future. Indicating that they want to spend time with co-workers outside of traditional work.
This aligns with the shift towards prioritising employee health and wellbeing, driven by a shift in attitude from employees. According to further JLL research, employees now prioritise work-life balance over a comfortable salary. Three out of four expect their employer to support their health and wellbeing.
Research by employee benefits provider Unum has found 86% of UK employers surveyed are also changing their approach to wellbeing in light of the current pandemic. 95% of employers say it has impacted their need to make people employees feel more protected and supported. Many employers say they are to focus their health and wellbeing strategies on preventative measures, like mental health advice and support.
SPIKE WORKPLACE AND THE NEW WAY OF WORKING
In response to the ongoing pandemic, Spike Global has just launched its new Spike Workplace application. The software helps companies and landlords promote a connected culture while the majority of office-based employees are working from home. The software will help companies and landlords adapt to a ‘blended’ way of working moving forward. Where we see employees cycle between remote and in-office working.
Spike’s workplace portal builds and manages buzzing, supportive communities where users can form meaningful connections. Companies can nurture the office culture virtually through social clubs, forums, and events, keep occupants engaged with up-to-date news and articles. Importantly, employers can ensure staff are as settled and supported as possible by offering preventative health and well-being initiatives and support forums. Spike has also partnered with well-being provider Antidote, to offer further well-being services directly from their portal.
Long-term social engagement to create a sense of wellbeing and identity is a key element of what the software provides.
To find out more about our Workplace portal, get in touch and a consultant will be touch shortly.